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Capacity of Steganographic Channels

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol. 55 (2009), pp. 1775-1792

Abstract

This work investigates a central problem in steganography, that is: How much data can safely be hidden without being detected? To answer this question, a formal definition of steganographic capacity is presented. Once this has been defined, a general formula for the capacity is developed. The formula is applicable to a very broad spectrum of channels due to the use of an information-spectrum approach. This approach allows for the analysis of arbitrary steganalyzers as well as nonstationary, nonergodic encoder and attack channels. After the general formula is presented, various simplifications are applied to gain insight into example hiding and detection methodologies. Finally, the context and applications of the work are summarized in a general discussion.

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